A suspected home intruder was shot and killed Saturday morning in Bermuda Dunes.
The coroner’s office identified the alleged intruder Monday morning as 32-year-old Cesar Garcia of Indio. Deputies said he was entering a home on the 41600 block of Adams St., just north of Avenue 42, around 3:30 a.m.
The homeowner said he was protecting two young children and their mother when he shot the intruder, said Riverside County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Manning.
According to the sheriff’s release, the first arriving deputy moved the family to safety and then found Garcia, who was still inside the home suffering from two gunshot wounds.
Emergency responders used life-saving measures on Garcia, but he died at JFK Memorial Hospital about two hours after the shooting.
People from two nearby homes called 911 just before the shooting, reporting a man with the same suspect description trying to enter into their homes, unsuccessfully.
Deputies said the homeowner and his family cooperated with the investigation, which is ongoing at this time. No arrests have been made.
Legal experts say the homeowner is legally protected by state law.
“If there is an intruder in your home who entered by force the law presumes that the intruder is there to do you and your family harm, and you are allowed to defend yourself, your home, and your family,” says David Greenberg, a local defense attorney.
“A persons home is their castle and there is a presumption in the law that says if somebody breaking into your home it is presumed that they are there to do you and your family harm, so you have that right that level of self defense to combat great bodily harm which is lethal force,” says Greenberg.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Investigator Nelson Gomez with the Central Homicide Unit at (760) 393-3527.